Monday, August 18, 2008

Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot was born in 1841 to a wealthy government official. When Morisot was 11, her family moved to Paris. Because her father was important, and because the family had money, Morisot and her two sisters received proper education. They had tutors for many subjects including art.
Berthe Morisot and her sister Edma both showed artistic talent and decided to become painters. Though very few women became professional painters in the 1800s, the sisters were encouraged by their family.

The young women painted side-by-side until Edma got married and decided to become a fulltime mother.
Berthe Morisot showed her work at the Paris Salon each year for nine years. She met Manet. She posed for him and the two painters learned many things from each other.

Morisot then made friends with several Impressionist painters and became an Impressionist herself. Morisot showed her work with the Impressionists until the final exhibition in 1886. She missed only one of the eight Impressionist exhibitions.

When she was 33, Morisot married Edouard Manet’s brother, Eugene. They had a daughter, Julie, who became Morisot’s favorite subject to paint. After Eugene died, Julie and her mother painted side-by-side.

Morisot died in 1895.
Berthe Morisot, like Mary Cassatt, painted a lot of family scenes. Most of her paintings show women and children. She used quick brush strokes, in the Impressionist style, and preferred light colors. You won’t see black in Morisot’s paintings, though there are sometime touches of dark grey, dark blue, or dark green.

The paintings above, in order, are The Cradle, Reading, and Lady at her Toilette.

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